Responding to Cyberbullying
Cyberbullying is a growing problem that affects almost half of all U.S. teens. Many adults are unaware of the problem and schools are often unsure how to respond to cyberbullying activities.
The Anti-Defamation League is responding to the problem through educational programs and advocacy, including:
|“One day this girl I considered my friend started sending me instant messages, calling me names and making fun of me because I had lost my right leg in a car accident as a child growing up in Peru. She even set up an online profile for me: ‘Name: spic. Location: border hopper. Gadgets: peg leg.’ I tried to protect myself, pretending like I didn’t care, but on the inside I was falling apart.”
High School Student
Most young people today consider e-mailing, text messaging, chatting and blogging a vital means of self-expression and a central part of their social lives. But an increasing number of youth are misusing online technology to bully, harass and even incite violence against others.
Cyberbullying, described as intentional harm inflicted through electronic media, affects almost half of all U.S. teens. It is often motivated by prejudice and hate, and some of the most serious cases of cyberbullying are the result of bias based on the target’s race, religion, national origin, sexual orientation and the like. Whether cyberbullying is related to identity-based group membership, however, or more universal characteristics such as appearance or social status, online social cruelty can produce devastating consequences for the targets and may be a precursor to more destructive behavior, including involvement in hate groups and bias-related violence.
As a leading provider of anti-bias training and resources, the A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE® Institute offers innovative programming to help schools develop a comprehensive approach to prevent and intervene against cyberbullying as part of a broader strategy to create safe schools for all students.